Pretty Soon a Smart Assistant Won't Be a Choice
At home, my pair works like a deeply discounted Sonos setup. I can tell Google’s Assistant to play a song on “both speakers,” and it’ll pipe tinny, still-decent-sounding music into my bedroom and living room. At my parents’ house, I paid $29 for a goofy gift that, I hope, will ultimately help my mom listen to Paul Simon while she’s upcycling furniture.
For the price I paid, I think my Minis were an excellent deal, at least until I grow sick of Google’s digital assistant. And I’m sure I will, but when that happens I can turn the microphones off and just use my phone to beam songs into the little cloth-covered spheroids.
But people have good reasons to dislike these kinds of products. Some people distrust or fear them, mostly because of the inherent security risks involved with creating and maintaining a bunch of inexpensive, internet-connected, microphone-having devices. I opted in anyways, and paid money to do it, aware that Google will somehow use something I say one day to generate more money.